An exploratory visit to Stone Brewing Co., and an in-depth interview with its CEO, co-founder & mastermind Greg Koch.
We see the brewery in action and then sit down for a long talk with Greg in the Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens.
Greg leads us through the inspirations behind the landmark label, as well as their philosophy and creative directions. More than just a beer, Stone is part of a larger artisanal movement that has set its sights on Europe as well. This is a true insight into the nerve center of one of artisanal beer’s most successful brands.
Greg Koch moved from the midwest to California, attended USC and spent time in the music business before founding Stone Brewing with Steve Wagner in 1996. Since that time, their label has exploded in success and acclaim, and become among the most recognizable quality beers around. BeerAdvocate Magazine went as far as naming Stone, “The All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth.”
A spirited traveller and active community member in his home of Escondido, Greg has helped create a singular success among brewers.
00:01 Welcome to the Wine Down from the Stone Brewing Co.
01:00 Introducing Greg Koch, the brewery in action, and background on the Stone Brewing Co.
03:31 The shrinking brewery numbers in the US and the march to homogeneity.
05:41 The definition of a ‘craft brewery,’ and the introduction of fillers to the beer and the public.
10:28 Changing public perceptions of beer and artisan beverages–Fred Sanford’s favorite wine.
13:44 Why continue to make artisan beer when it is difficult?
15:24 Collaborating with other beers and selling other people’s excellent beers.
15:55 Anchor Steam: The gateway beer to quality.
19:45 Tasting the Stone Pale Ale–the beer that started it all.
21:01 Collaborating with other breweries and the shared affection of brewers.
23:16 The beer world divided into several camps–Compatriots and Competitors.
24:12 Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor–the modest press conference.
28:57 Tasting notes on the Saison du BUFF, and a message to the children of the future.
31:48 The 11.11.11. and flavors for vegans and meat eaters.
32:58 The philosophy of Stone Brewing Co.
34:11 What does, “Be Amazing,” mean? The future hotel plans.
37:03 Challenges and inspirations for the operation of the business.
39:04 Mentors and influences for Greg.
40:30 Maintaining a craft aspect–scale vs. quality.
43:39 How will the Stone philosophy translate in Europe?
44:48 Tasting the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA.
45:20 European beer culture waxing after a long decline.
46:49 Why go to Europe?
48:36 Future goals for Stone and being a part of the local food movement.
52:18 Notes on the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA.
52:53 The difference between the many IPAs.
54:14 Origin of the gargoyle.
55:27 Thanks and Cheers!